So, you’ve got yourself a fancy new microphone for your desk, but you don’t want to leave it on the measly little base stand that it comes with. A good boom arm is essential for easily positioning your mic where it needs to be. For years, Rode’s PSA1 has been considered one of the best on the market, but now the company has come out with an upgraded version that’s even better than the original.
The Rode PSA1+ offers the same smooth and quiet action that placed the original at the top of the charts, while simultaneously offering several adjustments that address flaws in the original design. Rode sent High Ground Gaming one of these boom arms so that we could give our readers a fair and unbiased review. Here’s what we found.
Zoom In: Specs
- Parallelogram spring design
- Horizontal reach: 940mm (3’1”)
- Vertical reach: 860mm (2’10”)
- 360-degree rotation
- Holds microphones weighing 94g (.2 lbs) to 1.2kg (2.6lbs)
- Desk clamp and desk insert
- Integrated cable management
- Fully dampened springs
- Neoprene arm cover
- Price: $129.00
Prefer video instead? Our reviewer Cody unboxes and reviews the Rode PSA1+.
The overall design seems very similar to the PSA1 at first glance. It has an all-black metal arm with joints at the base, halfway point, and where the microphone connects. One of the biggest changes you’ll notice is the addition of neoprene sleeves. These coat the arms of the PSA1+, offering additional sound dampening. They also have several clips attached to them, which offer a clean and simple solution for cable management
The PSA1+ comes with both a desk mount clamp that can be used to easily attach the boom arm to the edge of a desk or table, and a threaded desk mount that can be inserted into a hole bored into the center of any flat surface. It’s worth noting that that the new threaded desk mount is larger than the one that came with the PSA1, as it also adds a rubber grommeted cable management inlet so that cables running from the microphone can be fed under the table.
My only concern is that the neoprene sleeves will attract dust and be difficult to keep clean. The design is an otherwise significant improvement in every way.
Completely Silent Springs
The PSA1+ has fully dampened internal springs. Keeping the springs inside the arm keeps the user (and the microphone) from hearing the springs that hold the arm in place as they creak from the change in tension. The soft neoprene sleeves absorb even more external and internal vibration. This makes moving the boom arm almost completely silent, which is important for anyone who finds themselves adjusting their microphone as they are using it.
Ironically, the only sound the arm seems to make is the quiet rustle of the sleeves themselves shifting on the arm, although this is very quiet and doesn’t seem to be picked up by the mic.
Light Mics Are No Longer a Problem
One of the biggest issues with the original PSA1 is that it relies on the weight of the mic to hold down the arm and several microphones simply aren’t heavy enough. I personally tested it with the HyperX SoloCast, the HyperX QuadCast S, and even Rode’s own NT USB Mini, and I found that none of them were heavy enough to hold the boom arm down in most extended positions. The only USB mic I own that was heavy enough to hold it down was the Blue Yeti.
The PSA1+ fixes this problem completely. It holds microphones weighing 94g (.2lbs) to 1.2kg (2.6lbs). The QuadCast S is one of the lightest microphones I’ve ever encountered and it weighs 254g. I tested it with the PSA1+ and found that the boom arm had no problem whatsoever holding any position I could place it in.
Is the Rode PSA1+ Worth the Money?
The Rode PSA1+ is not cheap. The Heil PL-2T, Blue Compass, and Gator Frameworks Deluxe are all seem to hover around the $100 price point, like the original PSA1. The PSA1+ MSRPs at $129.00, making it more expensive than a few other boom arms in its category. Still, it isn’t the most expensive boom arm on the market, and the outstanding build quality and functionality of the PSA1+ make the price seem fair.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The PSA1+ is an outstanding desk-mounted boom arm that builds on the quality of what was already one of the best boom arms on the market by addressing its weaknesses and making it even better. It is moderately expensive, but we feel those seeking a top-of-the-line boom arm will feel it merits the price.
- Completely silent motion
- Easily posable with a wide range of microphones
- Two quality mounting options
- More Expensive than most high-end desk mounted boom arms
- Neoprene sleeves are not removable and may be difficult to keep clean
- External cable management